John Locher/Associated Press
One day after Floyd Mayweather got to dazzle the media with a public workout, Conor McGregor took his turn in the spotlight Friday by showing what he could do at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported Thursday that the Nevada State Athletic Commission would hold a vote after Mayweather and McGregor submitted a request to wear eight-ounce gloves for their showdown on Aug. 26.
Nevada rules stipulate 10-ounce gloves be worn in a fight contested at a weight greater than 147 pounds. The Mayweather-McGregor matchup is set to take place at 154 pounds.
McGregor, who previously promised to end the fight within four rounds, said he would be able to stop Mayweather inside of two rounds if the eight-ounce gloves get approved:
McGregor on 8oz gloves: “I’m struggling to even give him two rounds.” @TheNotoriousMMA https://t.co/3Pa7FxLMD0
Even though this fight didn’t officially come together until June, McGregor said he’s had the boxing superstar on his mind for a long time:
“Floyd’s been in my mind since he opened his mouth. Not necessarily speaking about me, but ill of Mixed-Martial Arts.” @TheNotoriousMMA https://t.co/0OTVVKH8va
Mayweather has not been particularly kind to mixed martial arts over the years. He had this to say about the sport in a 2015 interview with FightHype (via Bloody Elbow’s Anton Tabuena):
“I’m in the $ 100 million business, not the $ 100,000 business. I shouldn’t even be stooping to certain levels, because it doesn’t make any sense.
“People that’s in MMA, I wish them nothing but the best. I don’t have anything negative to say about them. The hand I was dealt in life, I was dealt a royal flush and I just have to be thankful and appreciative of the hand I was dealt. I don’t have anything negative to say about anyone. I wish everyone of them nothing but the best.”
Just as interesting as what McGregor had to say was the way he looked working out in his preparation for a boxing match.
MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani captured video of McGregor throwing punches at a bag:
It’s impossible to read anything definitive about McGregor’s boxing skills into that short video, but that has been a key talking point in the lead up to this fight.
Former boxer Paulie Malignaggi was working as McGregor’s sparring partner before quitting on Aug. 3 after disagreeing with what he felt was UFC doctoring their work to make McGregor appear better at boxing than he actually is.
Here’s what Malignaggi told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto about his decision to walk away from being McGregor’s sparring partner:
“I wanted to be part of this event, but I didn’t want to become the story, and that’s what this has turned into. I won’t release any information about his game plan or what he’s working on—I wouldn’t do that. But this has become a fiasco. It’s a circus.
“And I do want that sparring video released. The UFC’s PI definitely has that video. I understand it can’t come out now, but Conor, if you have any balls, release what really happened.”
McGregor addressed Malignaggi’s comments during the press conference after his workout, telling reporters Malignaggi took “head trauma” in sparring and “the soars were not good for him.”
When asked if he was worried Malignaggi would leak any secrets to Mayweather, McGregor simply said, “Let him. He (Mayweather) can’t prepare for me.”
The tone of the two press conferences over the past two days was completely different. Mayweather was often discussing the business side of the fight and tickets still being available, with the actual fight with McGregor being thrown seemingly as a reminder.
McGregor devoted his attention to talking down Mayweather and making sure the world knows he’s not going into his first professional boxing match with any fear or intimidation.